By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
After an afternoon of ups and downs, it took a road trip back home for Muskogee to find some consistent karma.
The Lady Roughers beat Class A Leedey 16-3 then fell 21-9 to 4A No. 2 Dale in the Okemah Festival, then returned home to sweep unranked 5A Vian 12-0 and 12-5. It capped the day with a little momentum for coach Keith Coleman’s squad, ranked sixth in 6A.
An eight-run, six-hit outburst in the second led to a three-inning shutout in the first game against Vian, then the big aluminum struck in the finale. Derra Walker, Paige Gann and Shaylee Rowland each blasted two-run home runs, Gann’s giving the Lady Roughers a 6-5 advantage in the third, one they would not relinquish. After adding four runs in the fifth, Rowland blasted a two-run shot off the right field scoreboard, her second of the day and sixth this season.
For Walker and Gann, it was their first long ball this season.
Muskogee is now 7-3.
Vian, which fell to 2-2, was playing minus four starters at cheerleader tryouts. One of those wasn’t Joehanna Morris, who hit her fourth home run of the season, a three-run shot that gave the Lady Wolverines a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning of game two. She had three in a three-way on Thursday with Sallisaw and Heavener.
“It’s one of those deals where it is what it is,” Vian coach John Mays said in reference to the missing girls. “We need the games no matter what we get out of is, and girls who got to play that might not so it was all good for us.”
Coleman didn’t complain about his offense.
“Even against Dale, we hit the ball enough to put nine runs on the board in three innings but we couldn’t scoop their balls,” he said. “I’ve talked to some coaches who think Dale may be the best team in any classification.”
MHS got 15 hits against Leedey, with Rowland and Paige Gann each going 3-for-3, Rowland hitting her first home run of the day. It was outhit 20-10 by Dale, which also collected four home runs. Emarthle and Cailee Gann had two hits each.
Out from basketball, Kelsey McClure was 3-for-3 in the second Vian contest. Rowland was 2-for-2 with a double and a walk in her third at bat in the prior contest.
Muskogee (7-3) is in the Bethel Tournament late next week. Vian doesn’t return to action until after spring break when it goes to Okay.